Recent blog posts

Josh Kurtz: Against All Odds

By: Josh Kurtz  The circumstances aren’t nearly as dire for Maryland Democrats as they are for their national counterparts. But there are some eerie similarities between the U.S. senators who are fighting for their political lives this fall and the Maryland state senators who are fighting for theirs. What they have in common is the hostile territory the Democrats are battling on. To prevail in these contests, the Democrats are going to have to dramatically surpass their party’s average performance levels, in some cases by 20 points or more. But Democrats have quality candidates in many of these races. Not only that, many of these candidates have a strong political brand – either through their own work, or from the political legacies of their families – that often inoculates them even in the most challenging electoral environments. The question is whether the political undertow is just too powerful this fall, and... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: Kurt Schmoke and the Politics of Higher Education

By: Laslo Boyd  Most people in Baltimore know Kurt Schmoke as the former three-term mayor of the city.  Less well known is that he has spent much of the time since leaving City Hall in academia.  For several years, he was Dean of the Law School at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and he recalls that experience with great fondness. For the past three years, he has been at various times General Counsel and Interim Provost at Howard. As a result, it wasn’t far into our interview that Schmoke brought up the subject of shared governance at universities. It is, he contended, a “style, not something you just pay lip service to.” When I asked him if he had raised any concerns during the search process for president of the University of Baltimore, he told me that he had asked whether the University was looking for an academic to be its... Continue reading
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Center Maryland Radio Minute -- Josh Kurtz on President Obama's visit to rally voters

Center Maryland columnist Josh Kurtz reflects on the significance of President Obama's recent voter rally in Prince George's County in the latest segment of Center Maryland's new feature, the Center Maryland Radio Minute, heard exclusively on WNEW 99.1. Check out the segment, and a special thanks to for helping to sponsor this week's Center Maryland Radio Minute.... Continue reading
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Baltimore Barbecue Company – From the Backyard Grill to Grocery Store Shelves

Adam Rosenblatt, CEO of the Baltimore Barbecue Company, and Don Fisher, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer, continue their visit with Center Maryland by describing their journey from a backyard barbecue sauce into a product that is flying off the shelves of local grocery stores. They also talk about future expansion plans.  In September, the company’s Chesapeake Style Sauce won second place among 360 entrants in the 2014 American Royal Sauce Contest in Kansas City.Inside the Headlines is a video politicast featured on Center Maryland. Damian O’Doherty brings guests on the show to have in depth conversations on major news happening in Maryland. Damian O’Doherty is a corporate communications strategist, a principal of KO Public Affairs LLC and co-founder of Center Maryland.... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: Anthony Brown and the Black Vote

By: Josh Kurtz  For several years, leading African-American Democrats in Maryland – sometimes publicly, and more often privately – have bitterly complained that the party takes black voters for granted. Equally raw is their assertion that Democratic bosses haven’t done enough through the years to encourage and promote African-American candidates, particularly for statewide office. They have not been wrong. But here we are, two weeks before Election Day and two days before early voting begins, and the African-American Democratic nominee for governor, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, anointed by party leaders and poised to make history, is struggling to gin up the black vote. What’s going on here? The answer – and specifically, Brown’s ability to build a sizeable black turnout – could hold the key to this election. The Brown campaign, no doubt, would like to think of Sunday’s rally with President Obama at a Prince George’s County high school as... Continue reading
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